“Myself to Myself”: The Norse Odin and Divine Autosacrifice
This chapter analyzes the self-immolation of the hanging god Odin, self-told in Norse skaldic poetry. It argues that whatever the reasons for Odin's ordeal—a reflexive sacrificial mystery which, like that of Christ, is so exalted that it may be beyond comprehension—the specificity of its cultic features do not require the influence of Christianity. Rather, they serve as an idiosyncratic confirmation of the particular power of a pagan god. Odin sacrifices himself to himself in the unique ritual terms of his own cult and becomes his own cult's centerpiece.
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